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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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workaholic
Newbie

Reged: 04/23/11
Posts: 2
Loc: Columbus, OH
Telling my family
      #255372 - 04/23/11 10:32 AM

I was recently diagnosed on April 14, 2011. I have since told my best friend, my partner and my sister and brother-in-law. Besides my parents... these are the closest people to me in the world. My situation is..... I am terrified on how to tell my parents. They have been divorced since I was 7 yrs old. When I came out to my mother... her reaction was one of denial! Her fears were that THIS exact situation would happen (but I'm not going to elaborate any further on that issue). So I am terrified! I want to tell my parents so that they know what is going on, but I live so far away from both of them that I don't want to do it over the phone, and I want them to see that I am still okay! But I am also terrified of the rejection I could possibly receive from them! I just don't know what to do, I am very close with both of them, but I just don't want to keep them out of my life! Please help!!!!!!

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bartlebyAdministrator
Admin

Reged: 01/19/10
Posts: 660
Re: Telling my family new
      #255408 - 04/25/11 05:09 PM

oh, it can be rough, especially if your parents aren't accepting of who you are. i would say wait. you just got diagnosed. there's no need to rush and tell everybody (unless you want to) before you've wrapped your own head around it. you should take some time to learn as much as you can and adjust to living with HIV first. then when you're ready, you can tell them.

i also recommend reading these great articles on disclosure etiquette (there are three parts). and this section where others gave tips on how to disclose.

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Bartleby at The Body
Bulletin Board Administrator

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hivpoznc
Regular

Reged: 06/26/09
Posts: 29
Loc: North Carolina
Re: Telling my family new
      #255422 - 04/27/11 12:24 AM

I have been HIV positive for 24 years. I progressed to full blown AIDS 15 years ago. I told my parents at that point. Everyone's situation is different, so I would suggest that you think carefully about this. Some people will react in a postive way to you revealing this information to them; however, some people may react in a negative manner.

Be prepared for some negative and hurtful reactions in additon to some very positive reactions. To me, revealing my HIV status to my family members actually relieved me of some of the stress of keeping a big secret. For that reason, I highly recommend telling others; however, I did encounter some bad reactions from some family members. Keep this in mind when you reveal your status to others. Some people are going to help you with this situation; howver, some people may react towards you in a negative way.

Good luck with this. The reaction of others is something you will have to learn to handle. Spend more time with the people who react favorably to your situation.

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DJones
All Star

Reged: 04/02/09
Posts: 84
Loc: Milwaukee Wisconsin
Re: Telling my family new
      #255426 - 04/27/11 04:26 PM

Telling your parents can be the hardest. One lesson I have learned from HIV is to think very hard about who you tell because once you tell someone, you can never take it back. I was fortunate my parents took it well and are in my corner. Make a list, pros and cons of telling them. Ask yourself what you think you want from them once they are told. Have a back up plan for the best and worst case. Either way it is up to you but remember, once you put it out there, you can never take it back.
I also agree with one of the replies that once I told them a huge weight was lifted.
Good luck.
I started a blog the day I found out I was HIV+ and AIDS on January 7, 2009. You can go back to that date and forward the last two years and see what my life has been like and the struggles you might encounter. The link is below on this post.
Dave

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http://daveslifelivingwithhiv.blogspot.com/

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Pos_in_Thailand
Guardian

Reged: 02/01/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Thailand
Re: Telling my family new
      #255703 - 05/17/11 09:03 AM

My advice is to not rush it. As others have said, once the cat is out of the bag, you can't put it back in.

I decided to tell NOBODY, especially my parents, but that is me. It is not shame that makes me decide to keep it to myself, it is that this is something very personal that I feel belongs only to me. I can always change my mind later and tell people if I feel it is something helpful to the relationship - the door is always open if I feel it needs to be.

My advice is to just be calm and take things one step at a time.

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milehighguy36
Newbie

Reged: 05/30/11
Posts: 1
Re: Telling my family new
      #255920 - 05/30/11 08:34 AM

Hey there I just want to share my experience with you as you are thinking or maybe already have told your parents. I was diagnosed on April 26th, 2011 and was not really OUT to my parents however I got really sick and was hospitalized with PCP Pnumonia, which only affects people that are HIV positive. I also had a fear of rejection or hurting my family with the news so I tried for a day in the hospital to "hide" my medical condition, kicking my parents out of the room everytime Dr's would come in to visit. I come from a conservative catholic latin family and was scared to death to tell them however after a stint in the ICU and realizing I could have lost my life I made the decision to share everything with my parents. They live about 4 hours away from me so a week after I was discharged I made had the conversation over the phone, in a way it made it easier as I was able to script my conversation and allow time for emotions to come out then come back to conversation. Mother's Day was 4 days after I told them and that is when I saw them in person and it did help for them to see that I was doing better and feeling better from the pnumonia. Of course my parents have feelings of sadness or like something is missing but I keep reassuring them that once on treatment and making certain changes to lead a more healthy life style they are dealing with it very well. I am currently spending a couple of weeks with them to bond and help them understand more about HIV and being gay. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions but they have accepted me with open arms and as parents they are the core of my support system. They want to know what is going on in my life so that they can be there both thru the good and bad.......I hope you find strength and courage to tell them as the weight of carrying this illness alone can be tough.

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MagicCityEC
Newbie

Reged: 06/20/11
Posts: 4
Re: Telling my family new
      #256255 - 06/20/11 02:36 PM

I guess for each of us there is a time to pop out of the “Red” closet. Being gay and having to eventually share this information with my very conservative parents and family was a roller coaster of emotions and issues by itself. Now my mother and I finally have a comfortable enough arrangement where she still believes that I am a straight, republican voting, blue eyed Christian even though am bleeding liberal, with very pagan spiritual influences. I guess it must be some southern politeness that has seeped into my soul with all this brown sugar sweet tea I keep drinking down here in the Deep South that I just do not bully her into a reality check. Anyway, for whatever it is worth… you do not need to jump into uncomfortable situations if you are not ready for it. I’ve been positive since my partner brought this home to me some six years now. About 60% of my friends know this issue and my ex-coworkers knew but I have never shared this news with my family. I’ve decided not to burden them with this information and I am at peace with that choice. For me it is my close friends and my partner that will end up dealing with my health if it comes to any problems, and why worry my family to death if truly there is very little they can do or will do when the time comes? You will know when you are ready to come out of the Red Closet.

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